In addition to a strong curriculum in subjects like reading, writing, mathematics, science and social studies, an education at Canyon Heights Academy also includes a rich and varied curriculum of enrichment classes. Enrichment includes instruction and practice in art, music, physical education, Spanish, Latin and technology. The enrichment programs enable students to explore a wide variety of learning experiences outside the traditional classroom and often to discover new talents!
Art enhances the intellectual, spiritual, human, and apostolic formation of each child. Exploring art awakens an innate call from the Divine Creator and invites a creative response. “Though his ‘artistic creativity’ man appears more than ever ‘in the image of God.’” (St. John Paul II, Letter to Artists, 1999.
Students at Canyon Heights Academy attend weekly Art Class as part of their regular academic program. Students explore art production, art history, art appreciation, and art criticism. As a result, students are able to cultivate the essential skills needed for them to both appreciate and practice art.
Students explore a variety of art mediums and processes as they develop and evaluate their ideas through the use of the design process. Students learn to apply the elements of art and principles of design into personal works of art.
Instruction in the younger grades focus on fundamentals including a concentration on line, shape, and form. The first step involves learning the basics in line technique, shape, simple and complex patterning, perspective, and shading. They also learn basic versions of the elements of art and principles of design.
Students in grade 5 receive more intensive instruction in the elements of art and principles of design. Elements are the building blocks used to create a work of art. Principles are how the design elements are used.
Middle school students are assigned more special projects using the elements and principles of design mastered in previous years. Middle school projects focus on a particular element or principle, broken down through small exercises, and then used in a final project.
After mastery of the basics, students explore different mediums, both traditional and non-traditional. Traditional media include watercolor, chalk pastel, oil pastel, and paint. Middle school explores an even greater variety including mixed mediums and the iPad!
The study of music allows every student at Canyon Heights Academy the opportunity to develop music skills, an appreciation for music and the arts. Students participate in the music program through use of self-discipline, concentration, commitment, teamwork, coordination of motor skills, visual and auditory development, positive self-image, listening skills, self-expression, and creativity. Students will develop an appreciation of music through hands-on experiences and listening to foster creative awareness, enjoyment of the arts, and exposure to a wide-range of musical styles.
The music curriculum represents what we expect children to achieve at various levels of their education, kindergarten through eighth grade. Students will develop their musical knowledge and skills as the material presented becomes more complex.
The objective of the music program at Canyon Heights Academy is to develop a life-long love of music and appreciation for its beauty and value in our culture. Through various engaging and interactive activities, students learn about music in an age-appropriate way.
- Sing, alone and with others, different genres and musical styles
- Play different instruments, alone and with others
- Compose and arrange music
- Evaluate and analyze music and performances
- Listen to, discern, and describe music and its components
- Improvise melodies, variations and accompaniments
- Read and notate music
Physical Education is an important part of the curriculum at Canyon Heights. The course provides learning experiences that contribute to the psychomotor, cognitive, and affective development of each child.
Physical Education provides students with the knowledge and skills to make the most of their physical and mental abilities along with the building blocks necessary for good health. They learn new skills and improve performance while gaining the self-discipline to take part in individual and group activities. Students acquire the knowledge needed to be physically fit and take part in healthful physical activity on a regular basis.
The K-5 Physical Education curriculum at Canyon Heights Academy is derived from the SPARK (Sports, Play and Active Recreation for Kids) Physical Education program, considered an “exemplary program” of the US Department of Education.
The objectives for the students include:
- Physical activity to improve and/or maintain their physical health and well being
- Application of skills acquired in class and the seeking of opportunities outside of school as part of a healthy lifestyle
- Development motor, person and social skills, including reference to the K4J Virtue Program where appropriate.
Building on the basic skills developed in the K-5 Physical Education curriculum, the Middle School program focuses on team sports and what is involved to be successful. Team sports included in the Middle School Physical Education program include: flag football, volleyball, basketball, and running. Class time for the students focuses on learning the rules of a new sport, teamwork, and sportsmanship.
Learning a second language is an important part of the curriculum at Canyon Heights Academy.
The study of Spanish provides every student with the opportunity to develop language skills and an appreciation for another culture. Student learning is enriched because connections are made to other subject areas, such as math, technology, and history. The curriculum is divided into four major areas of language: listening, reading, writing and speaking.
The Spanish curriculum represents what we expect children to achieve at various levels of their education, pre-kindergarten through fifth grade. With the acquisition of a second language, benchmarks are achieved by certain grade levels and although reviewed in later grades, they are not re-taught every year. New students work to achieve mastery as soon as possible. Teachers use the students’ knowledge and experiences at each grade level and prepare them to meet the following grade-level benchmarks.
Points to Remember:
- Speaking in Spanish with each student at all times fosters success at the pre-kindergarten level through the fifth grade.
- Ensuring that all verb tenses, including irregular verbs, are taught, and progress is made yearly contributes to the students’ success in the overall program.
- Providing formal teaching in language structure, parts of speech, usage, accent marks, and implementing all forms of language (speaking, writing and listening) is essential.
- Teaching diphthongs in the upper grades ensure students know how to pronounce stressed and unstressed syllables and proper dialect and articulation.
At Canyon Heights Academy, students begin a three-year course in Latin beginning in grade 6. The foundation of the English language is dependent on Latin for as much as 50% of the words we speak. Modern science, law, government, logic, and theology rely heavily on root words that are Latin based. Studying Latin is also excellent preparation for learning any foreign language, a requirement for high school.
During the course, students study etymology, which involves studying the origin of words. Benefits of studying Latin include improvements in reading comprehension, English grammar, and vocabulary development.
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